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Cashier

Cashiers add up bills, accept payments, and make change. They also give information, fill out forms, and provide receipts for goods and services. They work in grocery stores, department stores, and many other stores, as well as in theatres and restaurants.

  • Avg. Salary $18,903.00
  • Avg. Wage $14.68
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 40,400
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Checkout Clerk, Customer Service Representative, Grocery Clerk, Sales Clerk, Salesperson, Store Clerk, Supermarket Clerk, Ticket Agent

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Cashiers (6611) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Cashiers (G311) 
  • 2011 NOC: Cashiers (6611) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

32%
32%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Interest Codes
The Cashier is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Cashiers
METHODICAL

Interest in comparing to calculate total payments received at the end of the work shift and reconcile with total sales

OBJECTIVE

Interest in manipulating - operating to wrap and place merchandise in bags, and to tabulate bills using calculators, cash registers and optical price scanners; may stock shelves and clean check-out counter area

social

Interest in speaking with customers to provide information; may accept reservations and take-out orders

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 31, 2018

Most cashiers use cash registers and price scanners. At the start of each shift, they are given a set amount of money in a drawer. At the end of the shift, they may need to balance their cash against their total cash receipts. Cashiers must know the store’s prices, policies, and procedures. Their duties will vary depending on where they work. In general, they:

  • Greet and thank customers
  • Accept payments in cash, by debit card, and by credit card
  • Promote the use of credit
  • Process coupons, discounts, gift certificates, returns and exchanges
  • Provide refunds

Cashiers, stores and cafeterias may also:

  • Scan or enter the prices of items and subtract the value of coupons or discounts
  • Weigh produce and bulk food
  • Tell customers where to find products
  • Package or bag goods
  • Offer carry-out service
  • Keep the checkout area clean and orderly
  • Make sure they have enough change and appropriate cash levels at all times
  • Use the paging system to ask for help or information
  • Return items to the shelves and stock shelves during slow periods
  • Wait to serve the first available customer

Cashiers in retail stores may also:

  • Pack bought goods in bags or boxes
  • Act as a salesperson

For more information, see the Retail Salesperson occupational profile.

Cashiers in restaurants may also:

  • Take reservations or takeout orders
  • Seat guests

Box office cashiers sell tickets at places like theatres, stadiums, and skating rinks. In general, they:

  • Give information about events in person or by phone, e-mail, or regular mail
  • Describe venue layouts and seating locations to help customers choose the best seats
  • Fill bookings for seats
  • Attend pre-work meetings to receive updates and pick up items for handing out to customers
  • Change till, debit and credit machine paper rolls as needed
  • Receive and process payments for items such as debit and credit transactions, passes, and tickets

Theatre box office cashiers often do public relations work as well.

Cashiers who work in government departments and other large organizations (such as utility companies) receive and process payments for things such as utility bills, taxes, and parking fines.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 31, 2018

Cashiers work with the public. Most stand in small booths or behind counters for long periods. Sometimes they are near store entrances, which can be drafty in winter. During busy periods, there may be a lot of pressure to work quickly while being accurate and pleasant.

Cashiers in grocery stores, cafeterias, theatres and retail stores often work evenings and weekends. They may work part time during busy periods. Restaurant and hotel cashiers often work rotating shifts without set days off. Vacation time may be limited to less-busy times of year.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 31, 2018

Cashiers need:

  • Patience and tact
  • A polite and outgoing personality
  • A neat appearance
  • Interpersonal skills
  • The ability to keep calm under pressure
  • Communication skills
  • The ability to remember faces, products, price codes, and promotions

They should enjoy:

  • Following instructions
  • Balancing total payments and sales
  • Packing goods
  • Operating equipment
  • Having daily contact with the public
Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 31, 2018

The main requirements for cashiers are the abilities to provide good customer service and to work with numbers accurately and quickly. Those who work with large sums of money must be bondable. (That means they are seen as responsible and law-abiding by an insurance company.) Cashiers who work with foreign currency must know how to process exchanges. Computer experience is an asset.

Cashiers usually are trained on the job. Some employers provide short training sessions before they put inexperienced cashiers on the floor.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 31, 2018

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 31, 2018

Cashiers work in:

  • Grocery and food stores
  • Drug stores
  • Department stores
  • Restaurants
  • Theatres
  • Hotels and motels
  • Government
  • Large companies

In some stores, they must join a union to work.

Cashiers may move into positions in other store departments. They may also advance to supervisory positions. In some stores, they may advance to assistant or branch manager positions.

In Alberta, 89% of people employed as cashiers work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment, especially in the industries listed above
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

Over 36,300 Albertans are employed in the Cashiers occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.0% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 726 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 31, 2018

In some retail establishments, the starting wage for cashiers is at or just above minimum wage. (As of October 1, 2018, the minimum wage in Alberta is $15.00 per hour for most jobs. For more information, see Alberta Employment Standards.) Job benefits may include merchandise discounts.

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $12.20 $14.00 $12.64 $12.20
Overall $12.50 $19.31 $14.68 $14.00
Top $13.00 $26.00 $18.33 $17.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Public Administration
Wholesale Trade
Accommodation & Food Services
ALL INDUSTRIES
Retail Trade
Information, Culture, Recreation
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

74%
74%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

32%
32%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

11%
11%

Vacancy Rate

2%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Personal and Food Services

Updated Dec 31, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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